Imagine if you can, Information Technology (IT) being
deployed at the grass root level. Young children of primary and
secondary schools being taught subjects like Science, Mathematics,
History and Islamiat by IT savvy teachers. They deploy IT, as a tool, to
enhance student learning in their curriculum. Imagine the rich future of
such a nation.
It is an undisputed fact that the economy of the
future depends on the quality of a nation's education system and its
schools and the ability of future generation to face the emerging
challenges. In Pakistan, investment by the federal government and local
governments in classroom technology has increased access to computers
and Internet connectivity, but more often than not teachers are not
prepared to use it. Investing in professional development for teachers
that will enable them to use computers effectively to help students
attain highest standards is most needed.
Efforts by the private sector, like Intel Pakistan
Corporation, will go a long way in enabling the generation of tomorrow
to a bright future. The Intel's education initiative - Intel Teach to
The Future Programme was launched earlier this year in Pakistan and have
achieved phenomenal results in a very short span of time.
This programme, with support from Microsoft, is a
worldwide initiative to help teachers effectively integrate the use of
computer technology into classroom curriculum to improve student
learning and achievement. Intel believes that technology can advance
education when teachers have the knowledge to effectively integrate it
into the curriculum. Intel Teach to The Future is not a traditional cash
or equipment-based donation programme. The most important being, it is
not a computer "literacy" or "how to operate a PC or surf
the Net" skills training effort. Instead, it is an innovative
programme designed to teach teachers how to integrate technology into
the classroom curricula they are currently following. Presently students
are competing in an environment that is increasingly dominated by
technology, yet teachers are not prepared to effectively integrate
computers and PC technology into students' learning.
The importance being attached can be gauged by the
quotation of Craig Barrett, Intel's President and Chief Operating
Officer. He said, "The scope of this programme represents the
industry's recognition that all the educational technology in classrooms
today is worth nothing if teachers do not know how to use it
effectively. Computers are not magic, teachers are".
Launched in 2000, Intel Teach to the Future is a
worldwide effort to help teachers integrate technology into their
classrooms to enhance student learning. Available throughout the United
States and in 24 other countries, Intel Teach to the Future will train
more than 500,000 teachers worldwide by the end of year 2002. Intel has
an investment plan of US$ 100 million in cash, equipment, curriculum
development and programme management.
The Intel Teach to the Future programme in Pakistan
was formally launched in May 2001. The programme in Pakistan has been
launched and followed in close collaboration with the Ministry of
Science and Technology and the Ministry of Education at both the federal
and local government levels. Over 13,000 teachers from public and
private schools have been trained in deploying IT in 14 cities across
the country. A lot of dedication and commitment has been put into this
programme, the entire curriculum has been customized, based on the
requirements of the local teachers.
Intel Pakistan has set more aggressive targets for
the next year. However, such a programme can not be implemented without
active support from the government. It is an investment in future for
preparing today's teachers and students to face tomorrow's challenges.